Court hearing details: Jimmy Dimora's sentence on corruption convictions is imminent

AKRON, Ohio - Jimmy Dimora is going to find out how long he will spend in prison, and how much he owes in restitution, early Tuesday afternoon.

During the morning hearing, attorneys argued at which level of the federal guidelines he should be sentenced.

It appears at this point that Dimora will be sentenced in Offense Level 40, Criminal History Category I. Put another way, Dimora could face more than 24 years, and up to more than 30 years.

Prosecutors argued the public corruption in Cuyahoga County was so bad, there's a new form of government today. She said that's something that has never been seen in any other place in the country.

"There's no doubt there was as significant amount of corrupt activity," said Dimora's attorney Bill Whitaker. But he said the financial theft from the county was because of others, not his client.

Whitaker said it was former auditor Frank Russo who "lined his pockets with his corrupt activity."

Whitaker said it was Russo and others who made plea agreements with the government who tried "to gather for themselves huge amounts of money, and they had absolutely no intent to share with Mr. Dimora, or anyone else."

"Why is he accepting gifts like concrete work?" asked U.S. District Court Judge Lioi. "Does he just think that everyone wants to give him gifts?"

"He's accepting things of value. Time after time after time," the judge said. "Why are all these things of value coming his way?"

Whitaker answered the people who gave Dimora gifts did not just give gifts to the county commissioner – they gave gifts to "all of their friends."

"In reviewing these provisions the court finds… that the defendant easily qualifies to a level four," Judge Lioi said.

Judge Lioi said Dimora was "both a leader and an organizer of criminal activity."

"They would accept or demand things of value in exchange for official acts," she said of Dimora and Russo.

"They each received what was important to them," Judge Lioi said. But their styles were different, she said, while Russo wanted cash, Dimora wanted meals, improvements and other things of value.

"There is simply no room for debate or doubt," that Dimora was an organizer of the conspiracy, Judge Lioi said.

The defense also tried to argue for leniency because of health issues, such as degenerative disc disease and an aneurysm.

"He's only 57 years old," said federal prosecutor Antoinette Bacon. "He's a relatively young man. He has a lot of life ahead of him."

Bacon added there were other people involved in this probe, who are now dead, such as Kevin Payne, who had stage-four cancer.

In addition, Bacon argued none of Dimora's conditions prevented him from taking trips to places such as Las Vegas and going to numerous dinner parties.

"(Dimora) does have some medical conditions," Judge Lioi said. "But the conditions are not so unusual or severe … that he cannot receive treatment through the Bureau of Prisons."

Keep checking newsnet5.com for the latest on this case.

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